Behind The Scenes:
The Immaculate Conception
The idea for 'The Imaculate Conception' came late in the piece. Long before I had even began to think about individual images, I had come up witht the project proposal of 'Photographing the Devil' for my university study. At that time I didn't really have any idea what exactly the Devil looked like to me. I pictured black, shiny surfaces and red leathery skin. As the project developed and I strayed from my initial proposal towards photographing a Black Mass, I had almost completely discounted the possibility of an image of the Devil in physical form as a part of the series. It was around this time, while researching religious artwork of antiquity, that I stumbled across depictions of Mary's mother and the miraculous, Immaculate Conception. I think it's interesting to note that most people think of the Immaculate Conception being that of Jesus, but it was instead the conception of Mary. In my narrative, Satan comes to the Black Mass through a cleft in the earth that leads down to Hell. The title for this photograph was chosen because I wanted to further the idea of conception and birth of the Devil into the Black Mass. Also the idea of the immaculate is how I imagine the attendants of the mass to see their god.
The construction of the image was simple, I used a soft box to fill the space and a small tungsten, reflecting onto a silver refector to provide sheen to my painted skin. The image was then manipulated, one ear being removed for a cleaner aesthetic, while the other was elongated. Careful shading was drawn in for further ambiguity of the face.